View Table of Contents
Anthropology of Europe
See RelatedAnthropology Journals
Sign up for our email newsletters to get customized updates on new Berghahn publications.
Click here to select your preferences
Punks and Skins United
Identity, Class and the Economics of an Eastern German Subculture
194 pages, 15 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78920-860-3 $120.00/£89.00 / Hb / Published (August 2020)
eISBN 978-1-78920-861-0 eBook
“Ventsel provides a functional overview for those who do not know much about punk (music) or the (life-)style quoting the varied studies on the subculture…[His] profound exploration of a specific scene of grown-up punks and their life plans is an asset. He offers a detailed description of the microcosm that is GiG with its protagonists, their families, housing situations, and their jobs—mainly in construction or service industries, or off the grid altogether. He embeds his observations in a broader context of location, ‘Ostpunk’ identity, and gender roles. These insights are only sharpened given the harsh contrast to the bourgeois mainstream.” • German Studies Review
“This book is an honest piece and offers generalizing pleasures of recognition to anyone who has ever been actively involved in a subculture.” • Postimees
“[This book] is really interesting, provides fascinating insights and presents questions for the scholarship and future study.” • Matthew Worley, University of Reading
Germany has one of the liveliest and well-developed punk scenes in the world. However, punk in this country is not just a style-based music community. This book provides an anthropological examination of how punk reflects the larger changes and contradictions in post-reunification Germany, such as social segmentation, east-west tensions and local politics. Punk in eastern Germany is a reaction to the marginalization of the working class. As a cultural, social and economic niche, punks create their own controversial “substitute society” to compensate for their low status in mainstream society.
Aimar Ventsel is a Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Ethnology in University of Tartu, Estonia. He was a founding member of the Siberia Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle. From 2009 to 2013 he participated as a Research Associate of the Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, in the project “Post-Socialist Punk: Beyond the double irony of self-abasement” where he conducted fieldwork in eastern Germany on punk and skinhead subculture.
Subject: Anthropology (General)SociologyCultural Studies (General)Political and Economic Anthropology
Back to Top